Jamaal Bowman declared victory Wednesday over Rep. Eliot Engel in New York’s 16th Congressional District Democratic primary — scoring a win for the party’s far-left and signaling the end of the incumbent’s 30-year career in the House.
“I cannot wait to get to Washington and cause problems for the people maintaining the status quo,” Mr. Bowman said.
Mr. Bowman claimed the win with the results showing him holding a 62%-35% lead in the primary race.
The final tally likely will not be known until next week when absentee ballots are accounted for.
If the result holds, it will reinforce New York City’s reputation as a growing hotbed of liberal progressive activism that is demanding Democratic Party leader’s move further to the left and embrace sweeping systemic change to everything from health care to policing.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, cruises to victory in the primary race for the seat in the nearby 14th Congressional District that she won in 2018 after defeating Rep. Joseph Crowley, the No. 4 Democrat in the House.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez threw her political weight behind Mr. Bowman’s bid to unseat Mr. Engel, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Mr. Bowman also won endorsements from Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Mr. Engel had the backing of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, who represented New York in the Senate.
“The world has changed. Congress needs to change too,” Mr. Bowman said. “But if we can take on entrenched power and wealthy interests here in Westchester and the Bronx, then we can do it all across this country.”
“I’m a Black man who was raised by a single mother in a housing project. That story doesn’t usually end in Congress,” he said. “But today, that 11-year old boy who was beaten by police is about to be your next representative.”